12 North Street Leighton Buzzard
10 and 12 North Street June 2008
The Manor of Leighton Buzzard alias Grovebury was the principal landowner in the town before the 19th century. Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service has a full run of court rolls from 1393 to 1727 [KK619-715] and another full run from 1704 to 1867 [X288/1-23]. The service also has court rolls for other manor to own land in the town, the Prebendal Manor, from 1448 to 1459, 1588 to 1591, 1611 to 1622, 1627 and 1631 [KK792-1798]. A fair number of buildings in North Street were originally copyhold and a detailed study of these court rolls would probably produce quite detailed histories for a number of properties and the sites on which they stand, though it would take many years of study.
12 North Street was listed by the former Department of Environment in 1975 as Grade II, of special interest. It was dated to the early 19th century and is constructed of red brick with a pantiled roof. The building has two storeys and a 19th century shop window. Benjamin Bevan published a map of Leighton Buzzard in 1819; two years later a reference book was published giving owners and occupiers of every property shown on his map. It is not known whether the building at that date was today's or a predecessor on the same site - it was owned and occupied by T. Chew.
Under the terms of the Rating and Valuation Act 1925 every piece of land and building in the country was assessed to determine the rates to be paid on them. Leighton Buzzard was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting 12 North Street [DV1/R74/20] noted that it was owned by Albert E. Dawson (a builder who lived at 18 Heath Road) and occupied by John Horace Entiknap, who ran a shop and paid £26/10 per annum rent.
The shop measured 11 feet by 12 feet and there was also a living room measuring 8 feet by 8 feet 6 inches and a lean-to scullery 9 feet square on the ground floor, with a basement cellar measuring 11 feet by 12 feet. Two bedrooms stood above, measuring 14 feet by 11 feet and 8 feet by 9 feet. Outside stood a brick and slate one storey workshop measuring 10 feet by 6 feet and a W. C. in the yard.